As the weather begins to warm up and the spring semester comes to a close, you may find yourself enjoying the great outdoors more leading up to summer break. While it is important for our bodies to soak up the appropriate amount of Vitamin D, it’s important to balance that by protecting our skin. As we enter the warmer months of the year, when the UV index is at its strongest, sunscreen becomes an increasingly important step in everyone’s skincare routine. From the desire to get a good tan to the belief that sunscreen is unnecessary except at the beach, we have all heard every excuse in the book. Despite how easy it is to skip sunscreen, dermatologists agree that sunscreen should be worn every day. While it may be easy to skip this critical step, not wearing sunscreen can lead to lifelong damage to our skin and result in many adverse effects.
The effects of unprotected sun exposure include:
- Higher risk of skin cancer
- Skin discoloration such as age spots, sun spots, and hyperpigmentation
- Wrinkles and other signs of premature aging
- Reduced elasticity of the skin
As you can see, not wearing sunscreen can result in some not-so-desirable consequences. It may seem difficult or time-consuming to incorporate an entirely new step into your skincare routine, but it can save you a lot of regret in the future. The first step in choosing a sunscreen is to make sure you choose something that is SPF 30 or higher. The American Cancer Society warns that any sunscreen below SPF 15 only protects against sunburn, not skin aging or damage.
“Not wearing sunscreen can lead to lifelong damage”
The easiest way to incorporate sunscreen into your daily routine is to find one that best suits your skin and works well with your other daily products or makeup. Worried about sunscreen causing acne or making your skin oily? No problem. Thankfully, there are hundreds of sunscreen options available on the market today that cater to every skin type. From sunscreens formulated for dry skin, oily skin, and everything in between, you are sure to find a sunscreen that fits your skin best. Another thing to consider when picking sunscreen is that a higher price does not equal higher quality. There are many affordable options on the market that work great. In fact, finding a sunscreen that is within your budget will make you more likely to wear it year-round. Here are a few affordable sunscreen options to try:
- CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30– $14.99
- Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50– $9.99
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100+ – $8.99
- Supergoop! Glow Stick Sunscreen SPF 50 – $25
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 – $9.99
Wondering when to apply your sunscreen when getting ready in the morning? Dermatologists recommend that sunscreen be the very first product you apply after washing your face. In the words of Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC,
like a moisturizer, serum, or makeup product. It is also important for sunscreen to cover the entire face to be effective. This means your ears, around your eyes, and your neck.
Basic sunscreen isn’t the only way to incorporate protection from UV rays into your routine. There are also many tinted moisturizers, chapsticks, eye creams, and even powders that include SPF 30+ available. If you choose to use one of these products, just make sure that your entire face is covered by some form of SPF. Here are some more fun and different products that incorporate SPF:
- Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Sunscreen – $9.29
- Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 30 – $3.99
- (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 35 – $30
- Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40 – $36